Summary: The Effective Christian knows the disease of sin, and knows the cure of Grace.
The Effective Christian
1 Tim 1:15-20
Date Oct, 1347
Place: The Black Sea, heading toward Messina, Italy.
The Ship: A Genoese Cargo Fleet.
The cargo: among other things, a disease.
By the time the fleet ported in Messina, Italy, most of the sailors were dead; those alive were wishing they were dead.
The Bubonic virus had spread through most of the trade routes throughout Europe. By the Spring of 1348, it had reached the shores of England. In a short and brutal 5-year period, ½ of Europe’s population had died. That was just the beginning.
Three Centuries later it still raged. In 1665, the epidemic left hundreds of thousands of Londoners dead, taking an average of 7 thousand lives a week, until mercifully, the cold of winter killed the fleas and slowed the plague. No known cure, no hope, the healthy quarantined the sick, and the sick counted the days.
When we rank history’s darkest moments, the Bubonic plague has a very high spot. Some may call it humanity’s darkest time, but not really, there is one darker, one older pandemic, one older plague, that makes the bubonic plague look like a cold sore.
No Culture avoids it, no Nation is safe from it, no person sidesteps the infection of SIN.
If the bubonic plague is the result of Yersinia pestis (rats), Sin is the result of Godless decision.
How does an Effective Church deal with this infection? If we do not have a right view of sin we cannot:
1. prescribe the right diagnosis
2. find the right remedy
3. Nothing changes for the good.
First let us look at 9 sinful views of sin.
1. Seeing sin as the breaking of some rules
a. Sin violates God’s Nature
b. His laws come from his Character
c. Violates the relationship
2. I am forgiven because Jesus died for my sins
a. He died so He could put sin to death in us. (Romans 6:1)
b. Christians cannot lose their salvation, but they can stop being Christians.
c. Christ Died so we can have a right relationship with God.
3. Be so paranoid about sin that we worry about unrepented sin.
4. God Knows my heart
a. The Heart is reflected in the life.
b. If the life is bad so is the heart.
5. Sin is Fun
a. Holy Spirit convicts us
b. Satan’s lie was that God was withholding something from Adam and Eve.
6. It is not a sin if no one is getting hurt
a. Willful unrepented sin hurts our testimony
7. It is only a sin if you get caught.
a. God Caught us
b. No Secret Sin.
8. It is popular and cool
9. Some Christians want to make everything a sin
a. Sometimes it is a difference of opinion.
Effective Churches/Christians have a right view of sin.
1. It is an “I” problem
2. What do I want
3. Eph 2:3
One Scholar, Joseph Alleine said:
O miserable man, what a deformed monster sin has made you. God made you a little lower than the angels: sin has made you little better than the devils..
Without God we have Chaos, and expect eternal misery.
However Effective Christians have more than a right view of sin,
B. Effective Christians have the Vacine. (1 Peter 3:18)
a. Instead of Condemning someone, we point to Christ
b. Instead of keeping Grace to ourselves we share it.
c. We point to forgiveness that is readily available if we want it.
It is said that bubonic plague ended in a small village in England. They discovered that the gravedigger, who came in contact with all the bodies did not die. They say it was lineage, later scientist did discover a disease blocking gene, preventing the bacteria from gaining entrance. Some would say it had to do with having the right parents. Well, that is true.
Having God as our Father, Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the disease of sin loses its power. Remember this verse (1 John 1:7).
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Instead of walking like we are already dead, let us walk in HIM. The Effective Christian knows that walk, shows that walk, and walks that walk daily.